Visit Brae Pasture Nature Reserve for breathtaking views across the Ribble Valley. In summer, experience a multitude of plants and flowers, with an expanse of yellow rock-rose in June and the rare Alpine bistort, found here in one of its most southerly locations. Brae Pasture includes areas of hay meadow, calcareous grassland, limestone pavement and woodland. The diversity of habitats support a wide range of plants, invertebrates and birds including notable species such as blue moor grass, bird’s-eye primrose, alpine bistort and frog orchid.

Location

Off the B6479, North of Horton-in-Ribbledale
Settle
North Yorkshire
BD24 0HU

OS Map Reference

SD790741
A static map of Brae Pasture Nature Reserve

Know before you go

Size
9 hectares

Entry fee

Free

Parking information

Small parking bay at the northern end of the site.

Grazing animals

Sheep and cattle graze from late summer into late autumn after the traditional late summer haycut.

Walking trails

A public footpath crosses the site leading to Ingleborough National Nature Reserve.

Access

Public footpath. Contact the Trust for disabled access information.

Dogs

No dogs permitted

When to visit

Opening times

Open at all times

Best time to visit

June

About

Brae Pasture is located on the edge of the Ingleborough Massif, therefore, where limestone is exposed botanical diversity is greatly influenced by the calcareous bedrock. However, elsewhere on site where there are thicker soils neutral and acid grassland can be found. A wooded gill is located along the northern boundary of the site, which surrounds a temporal watercourse that runs along the base of the boundary stone wall.

Whilst only covering two fields, Brae Pasture has an impressive variety of habitats including limestone pavement, acid grassland, calcareous flush and a wooded cliff gill. Home to over 150 plant species, several notable ones grow here including the uncommon Oeder’s apple moss (so called as its capsules looks like miniature apples) and the rare Alpine bistort. Early purple orchid, violet, primrose and yellow rock-rose provide colour throughout spring and summer.

In spring curlew can be heard calling and cuckooflower and barren strawberry can be seen in flower. In summer a range of butterflies will be in flight including common blue over the grassland. Meadow pipit and skylark will be nesting on site. In autumn harebells will be in full flower.

There is evidence of human settlement in the reserve, which can be seen today as a network of ditch and field boundaries. These are probably of a late Iron Age or Romano-British date and form one of a number of settlements from Ribblehead to Horton Village.

Seasonal highlights

  • Spring: Plants - Cuckooflower; Barren Strawberry
  • Summer: Plants - Rock-rose; Alpine bistort; Invertebrates - Common blue
  • Autumn: Plants - Harebell
  • Winter: Birds - Stonechat

Directions

Public transport
The nearest train station is in Horton-in-Ribblesdale.

By car
Head north from Horton-in-Ribblesdale village on B6479. Pass under a railway bridge and travel on for ¾ mile. Once you pass a public footpath sign pull in shortly on your left. Access to the nature reserve is via a stone stile along the public footpath.

Nearby